A business owner is tasked with toeing the line between keeping employees happy and keeping everyone productive to maintain a successful business.
Go too far one way or the other, and the business owner will either have no money or no workers.
A recent post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit showed how difficult that balancing act can be.
The Original Poster (OP), known as brownsofaaway on the site, titled the post with a question.
“AITA for firing a man for refusing to make a delivery?”
OP first noted the key variables.
“We own a small restaurant and we offer delivery.”
“Ever since we started delivering, we had to make note of people’s addresses because some young women would make some of our male drivers uncomfortable every single time.”
Then they outlined some solutions.
“To stop that we would send one of our older male drivers or our female drivers. And some men would make our female drivers uncomfortable so we’d send male drivers.”
“This is something everyone was used to doing.”
OP recently hit some friction.
“We hired a young man and he started doing some deliveries.”
“A middle aged man had a history of making female drivers feel not only uncomfortable but physically unsafe. We only had a handful of people available to make a delivery at that time so we told him to go because he was the only male available.”
“He said no. He kept refusing and we had to cancel the order.”
For OP, that was that.
“I fired him the next morning.”
“We want a family environment and he refused to help potentially keep a female driver safe and comfortable.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors gave OP the harsh truth and called him the a**hole. They saw a solution to the problem that they felt was way better than firing someone.
“YTA You have a repeat customer that makes other drivers feel unsafe and you’re trying to force someone to go into a dangerous situation? What the hell are you thinking? I’d cross my fingers that he doesn’t lawyer up, because this situation screams liability to me.”
“The problem here was the customer, not the driver. You misidentified the real issue and fired a person over it. In my mind that’s a massive failure of management.” — irish52084
“YTA – if no one feels safe delivering there, irrespective of their sex, you should just refuse to deliver to that person. It’s pretty straight forward.” — OlskoolD2K
“YTA. If a client ever made me feel unsafe, my boss would fire them so freaking fast. He’s fired more than one client from the practice for verbally abusing staff. That’s the way it should be.” — kat_a_tonic1983
“YTA – if the man is physically threatening people NO ONE should be asked to go to his house.” — grouchymonk1517
Some spoke to this incident as an illustration of deeper issues.
“YTA and this is pretty straightforward gender discrimination. You need to ensure that all of your employees feel safe, so you should probably just stop delivering to anyone who makes any of your employees feel physically unsafe.”
“Either way, you should talk to a lawyer about your policies because it sounds like you have different job requirements based on gender and sometimes age and that’s going to get you sued.” — genevajacuzzi22
“YTA. Gender discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen.”
“Also, stop sending any of your employees to a house that is unsafe. That’s just ridiculous. Why don’t YOU do the delivery there if you need his money so badly.” — superdupertrooper236
“The comments have pretty much said it but YTA for continuing to deliver to him, and anyone who is making your employees uncomfortable. You’re going to lose your staff if you don’t start putting your foot down” — Muted_Violinist5151
“YTA Putting people in uncomfortable or dangerous situations based on stereotypical gender roles is gross. It’s also pretty awful to keep delivering to these people. I get times are tough, but your employees deserve respect and to feel safe at work.” — OneRefrigerator3586
Many laid into OP with some coarser language.
“YTA. Reading this made my blood boil. You disgust me. How horrible for your employees to have to work for you…” — Famous-Restaurant875
“Fu** workin for you!!!! ‘We know this person makes you feel unsafe and makes unwanted advances and probably inappropriate comments but we’re going to send you, probably on your own, to this person’s house. Do it or you’re fired!’ “
“Talk about an unsafe workin environment. I do deliveries for a restaurant and if I feel unsafe going to a door, they would never ‘make me.’ You’re not just as a**hole, you’re a massive d*ck” — Toz–
“… it’s a joke right? Why do you serve that kind of people, do you want a family environment and still expose your workers to that kind of idiot? Why isn’t it banned if it makes your workers feel unsafe?”
“Why is it okay for you to expose other workers just because Are they men? Why are you firing him for refusing to serve a potentially dangerous customer? Yes, you are the AITA, crowned and all YTA” — 666n00b999
“YTA 100%. I wish I could call you something harsher than an a**. I hope he does go to a lawyer. You are even more of an a** for keeping that person as a customer.”
“How about you deliver to that customer the next time, since they are more important than your employees.” — LibrarianPlayful2689
“As someone who did delivery driving work. YTA! What the fu** is the matter with you? You know that customer is a creep, and rather than blacklisting him like any other store would do, you just worked around it.”
“And in the end you fired an employee for the exact reason the other drivers wouldn’t take it. He felt unsafe. He felt uncomfortable. And you punished him and fired him over that. What the hell is the matter with you?” — MadmansScalpel
Perhaps the onslaught of criticism will push OP to rethink the way they do things.